Your team will:
- Research the biology and diseases of reef-building corals
- Research the geographic distribution of coral reef species
- Research the human dependence on coral reef habitats
- Research sustainable management of coral reefs
- Develop a plan to study the effect of one method of reversing coral reef loss
- Create a presentation to secure funding for your study
Divide the tasks 1 though 4 among your group members so that each person has one research task. Work together to complete tasks 5 and 6.
Task 1. The Biology and Diseases of Reef-Building Corals
The Question: Why are the populations of reef-building corals so sensitive to diseases?
What diseases threaten reef-building corals? What causes each disease? Use the diseases essay at NOAA to answer these questions. Does the biology of corals make them susceptible to diseases? Explore the biology of reef-building corals at NOAA.
Task 2. Geographic Distribution of Reef-Building Corals
The Question: Where are coral reefs found?
To find the geographic distribution use the map at ReefBase to display reef locations. Use the information at this site to explain how geography may be affecting the survival of coral species. What threats are affecting specific reef systems?
Task 3. Human Dependence on Reef-Building Corals
The Question: Why are coral reefs important to humans?
Humans may not eat coral, but humans depend on coral reefs. Find out why they are so important to humans at NOAA .
Task 4. Sustainable Management Methods
The Question: What are some possible sustainable management methods?
Managing and sustaining global reefs may require many strategies. What are the hazards to coral reefs? Find out what is being done to mitigate coral reef loss. Choose one method as the focus of your research project design.
Task 5. The Plan
Since you are a team of research scientists, your plan will need the following parts:
- Research question- State the question that your research project will answer.
- Background information- Provide information that someone would need to know in order to understand your plan. Be sure to cite sources of information. This is the place to put information about coral reef biology, geographic distribution, human dependence on coral reefs, and sustainable management methods.
- Hypothesis- A statement that describes the expected outcome of your project.
- Materials- What you will need to conduct your research or implement your project and why these are essential.
- Procedure- List the steps you would take to conduct your research.
- Why your team thinks the plan will work- Link this to coral reef survival and sustainability. Show a cause and effect relationship.
Task 6. The Presentation
Now it's time to sell your plan. There's only so much money to go around. Will your presentation convince the foundation to fund your research? Your presentation should include all the elements of your team's plan. Use visual aids such as maps, pictures, charts, tables, and/or an outline of key points. The presentation may be done with the use of a computer-based presentation program or overhead transparencies. Each person should be responsible for presenting at least one part of the plan.